A new energy monitor, designed by a desperate to save housewife, has shown researchers that consumers can cut their energy costs by 20% through affecting behavioural change.
The Ewgeco monitor has a traffic light display which highlights real-time low, medium or high energy usage and works with ordinary utility meters to provide households with information on their gas, energy and water consumption.
65 homes were fitted with a Ewgeco real-time energy monitor. Of these, 43 had the monitor clearly on display and 22 had them hidden.
John Currie, Author of the study and Director of the Scottish Energy Centre at Edinburgh Napier University said: “What we found was that by allowing everyone in the home to see and quickly understand the electricity and gas being consumed, the Ewgeco monitor became a catalyst for increased awareness of wasted energy.”
Households that could see and use the energy-saving device consumed up to 20% less gas, and 7% less electricity, compared to the properties with a hidden monitor. Around 94% of the respondents also said that the Ewgeco device made them more aware of the energy they were using, while 73% said it made them use less energy.
Mr Currie said using such technology would be essential in increasing efficiency: “With the introduction of smart metering technologies in all homes in the UK by 2020, it is imperative that such devices be linked with easy-to-understand interactive user-displays if national energy reduction targets are to be realised and not just seen as a means of providing utility suppliers with demand information.”
Tanya Ewing, who was inspired to come up with the invention after receiving a particularly high gas bill, said: “Having won multiple awards for what originally was a good idea, it is very rewarding to read this report and see the proof that Ewgeco does what it’s meant to do – save money and energy in an intuitive way without changing your lifestyle.”